DOJ Officials Reportedly Warned Comey That Announcement Broke With Policy

FBI Director James Comey testifies under oath before the House Oversight Committee to explain his agency's recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton, now the Democratic presidential candidate, over her private email setup during her time as secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senior officials at the Department of Justice told FBI Director James Comey ahead of time that his Friday announcement was not consistent with department policy, according to a Saturday report.

Comey told Justice Department officials that he planned to tell lawmakers about newly uncovered emails he said were “pertinent” to his agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Those officials warned Comey that his announcement was a break with policy and tradition.

“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” an unnamed Justice Department official told the Post.

The official said that Comey then made an “independent decision” to notify Congress.

“He is operating independently of the Justice Department,” the official told the Post. “And he knows it.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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